Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo, says Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), cannot extend his political empire to the state.
Tinubu had asked voters in the state to reject Obaseki, the state governor who is seeking reelection in the Saturday governorship poll.
Speaking through Crusoe Osagie, his special adviser on media, in a statement on Tuesday, Obaseki said Edo voters are determined to end godfatherism in the state.
“Our attention has been drawn to a television broadcast in which a former Lagos State Governor and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in his quest to extend his political dominance and empire to Edo State, decided to take over the role of Edo people to choose through the ballot who to govern them for the next four years,” he said.
“It has become obvious that the spirited fight which Edo people have put up against godfatherism has sent tremors beyond the shores of Edo to the likes of Tinubu, who has for years sustained a stranglehold on Lagos and other states in South Western Nigeria, hence this desperate, last ditch effort to rescue the unproductive political instrument, now popularly referred to as godfatherism, with which he has feathered his nest and built his political empire at the expense of the people.
“Tinubu knows clearly that come September 19, when godfatherism would have been dismantled in Edo State, the people of Lagos may just have found the recipe and formula for removing the chokehold placed on their collective destinies for decades by Tinubu, hence the inciting television broadcast.
“He should take note that Edo people do not yield their will, liberty and power of choice to oppressive figures because they are perceived to have economic and political means. Like one of the great sons of Edo, former Governor and former National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, recently said, our people do not give in to ‘primitive loyalties.’ We always chase noble causes and a little study of our history, should show Tinubu the indomitable spirit of the Edo person.
“Edo stands in the heart of the old Midwestern Region, which was the only region created through plebiscite, which underscores our capacity to determine our destiny as a people. The blood which ran in the veins of the leaders of that time is still the same that runs in the vein of the leaders of Edo State today.”
Obaseki asked residents of the state to disregard Tinubu’s comment and cast their vote for him.